Friday, April 4, 2014

Double-tie Your Laces

submitted by Kerry Patton

“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”
Ephesians 6:14-15

It isn’t simply about one pair of shoes…and apparently, it isn’t about BOTH shoes.  At least in my case, there is something about how I tie my right shoe; yes…only the right shoe, that causes my right shoe to come untied as I go about my day. 

At first, I thought it was about a pair of brown lace up casual dress shoes that I would wear to work every day.  “These shoes!” I would grumble to myself, as I had to stop in the middle of the day ONCE AGAIN, bend down and retie that same right shoe once again.

My dress shoes at that time were not lace up, so I hadn’t identified a larger problem.  I began to suspect though, when I put on my tennis shoes and went out to work in the yard.  There it was again…that same right shoe problem. 

Months later, I had moved on to different shoes altogether.  All of my shoes were lace up. BOOM.  It hit me.  I was having to re-tie my right shoe again…no matter WHAT pair of shoes I was wearing.  What was it?  Something about the angle I was tying it at?  Was I not pulling the knot as tight from that side as I tied my shoes?  I didn’t know.  I still don’t really.  But I do know that if I don’t double-knot or double-tie the laces on that right shoe, in little time, I will be having to tie it again.  So…every morning as I’m dressing, you’ll catch me giving a single knot to my left shoe, and a double knot on the right one.  True story.

Now, I share this silly bit of truth about shoes because I want to attach it to a spiritual principle.  Had I not decided to do something about my shoelace problem, and by which I mean to identify it as a weakness in my walk…in my daily routine, and taken measures to strengthen it up, you would likely have witnessed me stumbling and tripping frequently on the hanging laces…Possibly even injuring myself and/or others in the process.  Right?
Above, an excerpt from Ephesians chapter 6 talks about being properly spiritually dressed as a follower of Jesus.  Having “shod” our feet with the “preparation of the gospel of peace.”  SHOD.  Now there’s a word we don’t use every day… Shod.  We say to our children or grandchildren: “Have you put your shoes on?”  Not so much: “Have you shod your feet?”  The word shod is described by Strong’s concordance as: “to bind under.”  I love that!  
Effectively: “to tie them on!”  Tie on what? Well, according to Ephesians 6:15, we are to tie on the gospel of peace. For what? To accomplish what?  To help protect us from the attack of the evil one.  To protect us from the sharp stones and stumbling blocks of our daily walk.  To keep us from stumbling.

Let me…well, tie it all up with a bow here. I want to encourage you to join me in identifying those patterns, those habits, those areas of your life where your metaphorical shoe keeps coming untied.  For whatever reason, there is a place of weakness, of susceptibility there that causes you to keep having to stop in the middle of your Christian growth and re-tie the laces to your life again…presumably before you stumble and fall.  Are you with me?

I want you to identify where those weaknesses are and do what Ephesians 6:15 says: “…Shod your feet…” to bind under… to tie on securely, if you will, the gospel of peace for that particular area of your life.  Begin looking for scriptural passages which may directly address that particular area or areas of weakness that you and I deal with daily and by dwelling on them; by meditating on them, by praying those victorious words for our lives, we effectively tie a double-knot, we double-tie those laces, so that we do not stumble in those areas anymore.

Oh, hey…if you catch me out and that right lace has come undone again, or if you see me about to take a tumble…literally or spiritually, remind me to put a double-tie in that area of my life.  I’ll thank you for it!

Almighty God, ask King David prayed, you know my inward parts.  You know my thoughts and my deeds.  Search me and know my heart.  Try me and know my mind.  See if there are ways in me that keep me from following you.  Help me to properly bind up my shoes, to keep me from stumbling as I walk.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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